Worf’s Journey comes to a head in the season four finale of Star Trek The Next Generation. Klingons, Romulans, new enemies and surprise guests all show up on the episode that originally aired on June 17,1991. This is Redemption.
Stardate 44995.3 Redemption
In a story that continues the journey of Worf’s disgrace and redemption, Picard and Worf travel to the Klingon Homeworld to help install Gowron as the Leader of the High Council. There they find an Empire on the verge of civil war…
As the Enterprise travels to Qo’nos to assist in the installation of Gowron as the head of the Empire. They are soon met by Gowron who has news that the sisters of Duras (Lursa and B’etor) have challenged Gowron’s ascension and he asks Picard for help. Picard agrees but only within the confines of Klingon law. Gowron is upset, but accepts the answer. Soon Worf reveals to Gowron that it was Duras’ father that was the traitor and not his own. Gowron is shocked to learn the truth and Worf asks his help to restore the name of Worf’s house. Gowron explains that he cannot and Worf must live with his choices.
After having a conversation with Guinan about his people and his family, Worf requests a leave of absence to assist in the matter with Duras. Picard grants his request and he goes to visit his brother Captain Kurn. There Worf discovers that Kurn is planning a revolution to overthrow Gowron and destroy the Duras family at the same time. Worf informs his brother that they will back Gowron when Gowron needs them the most, forcing the new leader into restoring the House of Mogh’s honor. Kurn reluctantly agrees and plans a meeting with his fleet commanders.
Picard arrives on Qo’nos to act as the Arbiter of Succession. As Gowron is placed on the throne, a challenger appears in the form of a youth named Toral, who happens to be a son of Duras. Lursa and B’Etor appear and ask to address the council, they present Toral as the legitimate heir to the Duras house and Picard is asked to consider his validity. We soon discover that the Duras sisters are in league with the Romulans (still). Later, the Sisters talk with Picard about joining them in taking over the Empire, but he skillfully dismisses their claims. Later in the council chambers, Picard states that, while Duras is a blood relation, the boy has no claim to the Council. He has not earned his place. Unfortunately many of the council side with Duras once after Toral asks for their loyalty. Gowron stands alone.
Worf presents Gowron with a fleet of ships that Kurn was able to secure. Gowron asks Worf to request Federation support through Picard. Worf is trapped between two worlds and now must decide which side he should be on. Soon Gowrons ship is attacked by the House of Duras and, just as the Vortas is in danger of being destroyed Picard orders the Enterprise to leave the sector. Despite the threat to his officer aboard the Klingon ship, He can not drag the Federation into a civil war. Luckily, Worf devises a plan to destroy the attacking ships and manages to save Gowron’s ship with the aid of Kurn’s fleet.
Gowron continues with his installation as the leader of the Klingon Empire with Picard acting as Arbiter of Succession. Gowron restores Worf’s and Kurn’s family honor during the ceremony. Worf asks Picard for the Enterprise and the Federation to assist in Gowron’s time of need. Picard declines and orders Worf to stand down. It is then that Worf chooses to fight for his people and chooses to resign his commission in order to join his people.
After a lengthy discussion with Picard, Worf leaves the ship with the intention of finding his way as a Klingon. As he leaves, he finds his comrades waiting for him to see him off. It is clear that he never realized how much these people were and are his family.
The last scene we see is the Duras Sisters talking with the Romulans and it is finally revealed who the person in the shadows has been this whole time…meet Sela, who happens to look a lot like Tasha Yar… now who could this be? I know but I won’t spoil it… hehe.
To be continued…
Is this a ‘Good’ Episode:
This is an excellent end to the Fourth Season of STNG. Setting up a major war, pulling together all of the plot points involving Worf’s disgrace and the return of the Romulans into one incredible moment. It even manages to start the answer to what happened to Tasha Yar when she went back in time to serve aboard the Enterprise C. Picard and crew have no memory of the Yesterday’s Enterprise event but this really shows the dedication to continuity the writers of this series had. (I’m giving away a little here but not too much.)
I have really enjoyed Worf’s journey through this series and we are finally getting to see the fruits of his labor. Worf is a man trapped between two worlds. On one side he is a Klingon Federation Officer raised by humans on the other he is a Klingon with a deep rooted determination to explore his roots. His story is one of self discovery and, in this journey, it causes him much pain and triumph. I love even more that his journey doesn’t stop with the end of this series (which is still aways away at this point) but continues on in Deep Space Nine. For any of the characters in this franchise, his is one of the most explored and fleshed out and for that I am grateful.
I am really looking forward to telling you about the conclusion and the continuing adventures of the Enterprise in Season Five.
I have always found it disturbing how easy it is for Federation officers to ‘resign their commission’. This seems to be the easy answer any time one of them does not get their way and they, of course, are welcomed back as soon as it is convenient for them. If it is so easy to quite Starfleet, how the hell can they even keep the organization like this intact?
I also vividly remember the first full appearance of Sela (Denise Crosby) in this episode. We had to wait a full summer to find out who she was and why she looked just like Tasha Yar. I mean, our theories were crazy, from a Romulan Clone, to a look-a-like, to a lost daughter, to even an android. yeah it was nuts. We had to wait months to find out the truth, luckily you’ll find out in just a few days.
Gleanings and Cool Bits:
We learn that Guinan is a crack shot at a phaser. She hands Worf his ass in a phaser training exercise.
We also learn more about Alexander’s fate and how he is having difficulty on earth with the Rozhenko family.
This is the first time we see Lursa and B’Etor. It will certainly not be the last.
Thanks for reading the Retro TV Review, I look forward to discussing the rest of the series with you, one episode at a time every Monday, Wednesday and Friday! Next Review: Star Trek The Next Generation Season Five Premiere! Redemption Part II
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Late To The Game 2/1/2020 (Originally published 8/17/2018)
Special Thanks to Memory Alpha as they are one of the best sources for details on Star Trek information available. Although I have a pretty deep knowledge on the subject, they have proven invaluable as a regular resource.
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